Mellaril is a typical antipsychotic that has historically been used to treat psychosis and schizophrenia. Mellaril is properly a brand name for the generic drug thioridazine. It is has not been prescribed under the brand name Mellaril since 2005, owing to concerns about toxicity to the heart and retinopathy; it may still rarely be prescribed as a generic drug as a treatment of last resort.

There is some confusion about whether Mellaril is an atypical or typical antipsychotic. In older medical literature, it was referred to as atypical, but this term is now most commonly reserved for those compounds which demonstrate serotonin antagonism. This has led modern documentation to label Mellaril and related piperidine antipsychotics as typical.

Patient compliance in taking Mellaril is relatively low. One potential cause of this is the severity of side effects. In addition to those one would expect from any antipsychotic (nausea, insomnia, dry mouth, etc.), the main side effect for Mellaril is akathisia, or acute restlessness and an inability to sit still. Impotence and anorgasmia are also frequently reported.

The greatest risk faced by those on the drug is neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a potentially fatal condition brought on by a reaction to certain drugs. Marked by fever, muscle cramps, and delirium, neuroleptic malignant syndrome is often left undiagnosed for some time due to its unpredictable onset timeline (anywhere from eight hours to 40 days) and the similarity of its symptoms to those of other neurological disorders. If you are taking Mellaril or thioridazine and notice any serious symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor immediately.

Because newer, safer, more effective treatments are readily available, use of Mellaril should be avoided whenever possible.